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The Amiga Internet Terminal
Tim M. Fries firstname.lastname@example.org
Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison, IBM's Lou Gerstner, and folks from Sun
Microsystems have all been making speeches about the future of computing.
Their collective vision: $500 "Internet terminals" replacing today's PCs.
They each share a network-centric view of the future, noting the explosive
growth of the internet in business and home use. The vision is focused on
networking with a deemphasis on storage and computing muscle at the user
end. Software applications will be dealt from remote servers, rather than
local harddrives. User operating systems will be graphically rich, yet
small and efficient. They each conclude that the building block to
tomorrow's computing model will be an inexpensive and easy to use Internet
Earlier this month, Ellison detailed the hardware requirements for his $500
Internet appliance: an inexpensive ($50) microprocessor, 4MB of RAM, video
output to TV and RGB monitor, printer port, multimedia capabilities, PCMCIA
for modem option, network interface, and flash memory or low-cost hard disk
storage option. He decribes the OS as needing to be small and efficient,
while graphical and easy to use. Oracle, while still hunting for an OS for
the device, has been in talks with Apple Computer over licensing the Newton
OS. No agreements have yet been reached. IBM and Sun have been less
forthcoming in detailing their own Internet terminal specifications, but
both have suggested being in the planning stage.
Reviewing Ellison's requirements, it is clear to me that the internet
terminal already exists. It is the Amiga 1200. The A1200's proven
hardware design and mature, robust OS make it the ideal candidate.
Ironically, as the industry heavy-weights preach the need for such a
machine, Amiga Technologies (AT) president, Petro Tyschtschenko, sees no
market for the A1200 in the United States. AT should realize the advantage
of the A1200 as an internet tool and quickly release it with an internet
software bundle to the US. This package should be marketed towards
business and home users alike.
AT needs to reestablish the Amiga brand name in the US computer
marketplace. Being the first with an internet terminal would certainly put
them back in the game. If they lack the resources to do it alone, they
need to foster business partnerships to make it happen. In today's
climate, finding a business partner to help launch the Amiga Internet
Terminal should be easy. They need look no further than Oracle, IBM, and
I would appreciate any feedback.